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Ask A Librarian

Open Access (OA) Sources

What Is Open Access?

Finding Vetted Sources

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

The DOAJ indexes fully open access journals and is considered the gold standard for open access journal content.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)

Many higher education institutions, including WVU, require Masters degree theses and doctoral dissertations be submitted electronically, most open access.  The NDLTD search engine searches across them.  

Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR)

Searches open access academic repositories which contain theses and dissertations as well as other scholarly content.

The search engine for the US and state governments' content, some scholarly.


Finding Books, Print and Electronic


A huge database of books owned all over the world and down the street.  Use a library's interlibrary loan to get the book.  

Google Books

Search the content within the pages of books.  Identify a local library to read it.  If there is a Read link, then you have full access.


Search the content within the pages of books.  Read ones out of copyright in your browser.

Spurious, Nefarious, Dubious, Predatory Journals

Don't trust everything you find on the web.  Check list for questioning journal content:

  • It's a new journal, especially if the publisher launched many at the same time

  • Title close to another well-established journal title

  • Developing-world publisher

  • Not indexed in standard indexes such as Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

  • Poorly designed web pages sometimes with sensational graphics, misspellings

  • No editors or the editors are not real or edit many, many journals

  • No clear indication of open access fees for authors to publish in the journal

More guidance for identifying troubling journals:

A Paradigm Shift